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Pirates, Rockies benches empty


Tempers flared between the Pirates and Rockies during Wednesday night’s game at PNC Park. In the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Rockies leading 3-0, starter German Marquez clearly unintentionally hit Francisco Cervelli with a first-pitch fastball.

There had been no prior offense from either team. While Cervelli stared at Marquez for a brief second, home plate umpire Chris Conroy was already in front of the plate, ready to stop anything from happening. However, catcher Tony Wolters started talking to Cervelli. Cervelli didn’t like what Wolters was saying. Botch teams’ benches and bullpens emptied, but nothing happened beyond some terse words being exchanged.

The three-game set between the two teams ended on Wednesday night. The Pirates and Rockies won’t meet again until after the All-Star break for a three-game weekend series in Colorado, so we’ll have to wait over a month to see if any grudges are held.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.